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The Fur Trade Today - 01/25/04

Published 01/25/04

Some male celebrities, musicians and pro athletes are wearing fur coats and as a result, men’s furs are a growing segment of the market.

“A lot of the (Philadelphia Eagles football team) players were already our customers,” said Joan Morgan, CEO of the Pennsauken, NJ-based Zinman Furs. Free safety Brian Dawkins and backup quarterback A.J. Feeley are headlining the print, radio and billboard media ads, which ask: “Is Your Man a Zin-Man?” Zinman’s sales of men’s furs are up 97 percent because of the ad campaign, Morgan said.

More often than not, the furs marketed to men don’t look like fur at all. A fur bomber is treated to look like denim.

Sources: Toronto Star, 01/08/04
www.courierpostonline.com, 01/09/04


James Foster, a Louisiana trapper for more than sixty years, received a call a while back telling him he’d caught the caller’s 16-year-old daughter in one of his beaver traps. Luckily for the child, she was caught on the heel of the heavy lace-up boots she had worn; otherwise the trap could have caused an injury.

Why does Foster love trapping? “You don’t make much money trapping but it is fun.”

Why do others trap? Foster said trapping is driven by price and the price simply isn’t there any more. “What I don’t do is trap during hunting season because it isn’t safe and you have to compete with hunters.”

Source: Shreveport Times (LA), 01/11/04


A domestic tabby cat spent more than a week in agony after being caught in an illegal trap in Wallyford, East Lothian (Scotland).

If caught the trapper could face a sentence of up to six months in prison and fines totaling £5000.

Although the cat was in poor condition when he was released from the trap animal experts say his general condition suggests he was a well cared for family companion.

The cat has triggered the spring with his leg, but somehow, despite his suffering, managed to detach himself and drag the trap into a garden where he was found. When sprung, these traps can kill an animal instantly, but it had clearly been on the cat’s leg for around a week.

Source: www.news.scotsman.com, 01/08/04


December retail fur sales were below those of the same month in 2002. Trade insiders claim December’s weather and poor economic conditions were to blame for the lower numbers.

Trappers in Canada’s Northwest Territories have an agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories and Fur Harvesters Auction to sell the furs of trapped animals under the “Genuine Mackenzie Valley Furs” brand name.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 01/12/04


Belgium is sending a powerful message to the rest of Europe by banning the import and sale of dog, cat and seal fur. Belgium is the first country in Europe to ban all seal fur. In an initial phase, clothing labels will have to state whether a garment contains fur.

Sources: Press release from the Belgian animal rights organization “GAIA,” 01/16/04
www.Expatica.com, 01/16/04


Once again, the connection between fake fur and the real thing is made ...

“First, fake was hot; now the real thing”

“We saw a lot of fake fur last year, and that transitioned into real fur this year,” said Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the consulting firm NPD Group. “We had a very early winter, and a lot of cold-weather product did very well.”

Source: www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/q/chi-0401180464jan18,1,1091114.story</p>




Yukon trappers have revived a fur show in Dawson that is aimed at promoting trapping as a lifestyle and an activity for youngsters as well as adults. Dawson District Renewable Resources Council chair Peter Nagano said “We wanted to promote the idea of children ... to get out there and go trapping too, and this is a good promotion.”

Source: Whitehorse Star, 01/21/04


December’s sales in the U.S. were not up to expectations, but January’s have been better for the fur industry, due to the cold weather and the popularity of fur in the media. Furriers in Russia and China are doing brisk business, but sales in Western Europe are “spotty.” Scandinavian, French and Spanish fur sales are climbing, but other European countries are not showing the same kinds of successes.

It is thought that animal rights campaigns are hurting fur sales in those other countries, especially in Germany where the industry is now only a fraction of what it once was. Furriers in Italy depend on tourists to keep their businesses afloat.

Avanti Furs of Norcross, Georgia is going out of business.

BC International has moved from the heart of New York City’s shrinking fur district to 922 River View Drive, Totowa, New Jersey. Their phone number is (973) 826-1140. The company runs the fur departments in Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s East, Carson-Pirie-Scott, Marshall Field, Rich’s, Lazarus, Goldsmith, and Lord & Taylor (under the Ben Kahn name) stores.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 01/19/04


Trapper Kermit Stearns tells up and coming trappers that strangling animals is a good way to deal with them once they have been caught in humane cage traps. “The next best way to dispatch raccoons is with a snare pole ... Put the loop over the raccoon’s neck, pull it tight and lock the loop. When you are sure it is on tight, remove the trap. You can leave the pole and raccoon on the ground nearby while resetting the trap, but the raccoon will succumb more quickly if the pole is placed so the raccoon is hanging with all of its feet off the ground. I have used this method on gray foxes, raccoons, bobcats and coyotes.”

Trappers often claim that conibear traps are “quick kill” traps. The truth may be very different. Trapper Bob Noonan tells the world that 15 to 20 percent of the martens that he first trapped were caught in the middle of their bodies with conibear 120 traps, prolonging their deaths. Noonan said that he’d even find an occasional marten alive in one of the traps, sometimes caught by the snout or side of the head. Noonan also says “We lost two marten that were eaten in the traps, with only the head, feet, tail, and a length of body skin left.” [Yeah, really humane — JM]

One of New Jersey’s more infamous animal killers, Eric Space, provided this tidbit in his “humorous” article “Forty-five years of knowledge”: “Great blue herons eat young muskrats. I have seen it several times. They also poke holes in trapped mink and muskrats.” [Were these minks and muskrats eaten alive? — JM]

Source: Trapper & Predator Caller, January 2004


A black Labrador spent nineteen agonizing days in the northern Ontario bush after being snagged in a steel neck snare that cut to her windpipe. Late last month, Menodae, a four-year-old part lab, somehow found her way home nineteen days after she disappeared. She was twenty pounds lighter and her teeth were worn down from gnawing at the restraining snare, which a vet estimated had been around her neck for three days. Her left eye was swollen shut and the wounds caused by the snare, which was still around her neck, were gruesome.

The Natural Resources Ministry said there’s no evidence the snares pose a worse danger to non-target animals than other devices. “There is a certain amount of by-catch or incidental catch in every trap,” said Chris Hayden, a ministry officer in Peterborough.

Source: Canadian Press, 01/22/04


Some stats ...

The Fur Information Council of America reports that more than half the fur sold is bought by women under the age of 44, and 20 percent by women under 34.

About 19 percent of Canadian women own a fur garment.

In Montreal, about 32 percent of women own fur.

Men are increasingly likely to wear fur: 7 percent own a fur coat now, up from 5 percent in 1999. In Montreal, 13.3 percent of men own fur.

Canadian women 18 to 35 are most likely to be wearing a fur coat that is less than five years old.

In 2003, the fourth year of the Fur Works campaign, the (Fur Council of Canada) spent $500,000 advertising knitted, sheared, dyed and otherwise worked fur.

Source: Vancouver Sun, 01/25/04

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